The head of St. Luke’s School has addressed concerns about the death of Teddy Balkind, a second-grader who died after suffering a severe neck injury during a junior varsity hockey game last Friday, in an email to parents. According to Mark Davis, St. Luke’s head of school, Balkind did not fall before he was injured Jan. 6 against Brunswick School in Greenwich.
“Teddy did not fall and was not lying on the ice,” Davis wrote in the letter posted this week on St. Luke’s website. “He was skating upright and low. During the normal course of play, another player’s leg momentarily went into the air and, through no fault of anyone’s, or any lack of control, his skate cut Teddy.” How Did Teddy Balkind Died: What We Know So Far.
More Information About Teddy Balkind
In his note, Davis claimed that he wanted to set the record straight on behalf of the Balkinds, who he said are “seriously concerned” about the health of the hockey players and coaches from both schools. The family was especially worried about an “inaccurate description of the accident that has nevertheless spread,” according to Mr.Davis’ letter.
After the game, Police Capt. Mark Zuccerella stated in a press release that the injury happened after the player fell to the ice. “During the normal course of the game, a player from the other team fell to the ice. Another player who was near the downed player was unable to stop, and collided with the player who fell,” Zuccerella said in the press release Jan. 6.
The injury was clarified on Friday by Zuccerella, who said Balkind was upright and skating when another player’s skate sliced his neck. “The player’s leg came up,” he said. “The other player’s leg was in the air.”
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Teddy Balkind Died
The Greenwich Police Department declined to comment on whether Balkind was wearing a neck guard. Zuccerella said the Greenwich Police Department will withhold further information while the investigation is ongoing.
Tracy Schietinger, executive director of Greenwich Emergency Services, said Friday they followed state protocols and considered the “circumstances” of the injury and time of day, which was around 5 p.m., in deciding to take Balkind to Greenwich Hospital instead of a trauma center.
Although high school hockey players in Connecticut are required to wear neck protectors by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, St. Luke’s and Brunswick do not participate in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council, which does not insist on them. On Friday, state Rep. Nicole Klarides-Ditria, R-Seymour, said she would introduce legislation that would require all hockey players to wear a neck guard or similar protection during practice and games.
“It’s incredibly heartbreaking what happened last week and sadly this tragic accident may have been preventable had the teams been required to wear neck guards,” said Klarides-Ditria, who is a certified sports athletic trainer.
Balkind’s death has elicited expressions of sadness and grief from across the country. His family had a private burial on Tuesday, during which time Davis said it was critical to clarify the injury.
“The Balkinds know these teams are carrying the weight of this tragedy on their shoulders,” Davis said in his letter. “They hope setting the record straight will lift some of that weight and help the healing begin.”
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